Reflecting on the Rebuild of Evangelion Before 3.0+1.0’s Release

FINAL THOUGHTS BEFORE THE END

Hey guys, I’m back with a different kind of anime-related video. As you know, Evangelion has had a profound effect on my life, and I’m absolutely stoked to ring in the end of this epic franchise spanning over 25 years with Hideaki Anno’s final big Evangelion film in the Rebuild series, Evangelion 3.0+1.0: Thrice Upon a Time, which will be released globally on Amazon Prime in matter of hours!

But first, we gotta reflect back on the three masterpiece films that precede 3.0+1.0, which would be Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance, and the most divisive of all, Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo.

I love the Rebuild films. This is a video recapping my emotions toward them, as well as my hopes for what the true end of Evangelion will bring!

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Thanks for watching~!

– Takuto

Evangelion 3.0+1.0’s First 12 Minutes: Thoughts on The End || Cafe Talk

The end is nigh—care to share any thoughts before the curtain closes on Evangelion?

Hey guys!

In the wake of Evangelion 3.0+1.0’s big screen debut which is set for tomorrow, March 8th, Studio Khara streamed the first 12 minutes, 10 seconds, and 10 frames of the highly anticipated final Rebuild film on their official YouTube channel. At its high, nearly 150,000 viewers were live watching the YouTube premiere (the Amazon Japan live also had a huge turnout), and I was one of them.

As a fan whose life has been irreversibly impacted by the legendary anime giant that is Eva, I felt compelled to discuss some of my thoughts on what the final film will be about, as well as express my hopes for the finale of this historic franchise.

Naturally, some spoilers for the previous films may be brought up. You have been warned!

While the action-packed opening of 3.0+1.0 displays the talents of Khara’s remarkable animators and sound design staff, it does little else to cue us about the plot. Except for showing us a glimpse of outside world that is now stained red as a direct result of 3.0’s Fourth Impact, we still don’t have much in the way of an established story.

Maybe it’s just self-assumed to many fans (including myself) that this opening scene is set up to invite us back to the world of Eva with exciting action first, plot later. And that is completely fine. I shouldn’t be judging this massive 155-minute long film on these first 12ish minutes alone.

Oh that’s right, in case you didn’t know, 3.0+1.0 is set at 2 hours 35 minutes. This is amazing news, given the relatively short runtime of the third film, which was just 96 minutes. The recently announced runtime also brings me to my next theory.

As the name 3.0+1.0 might indicate, I believe that this film will be divided into two parts: the climactic resolution to 3.0, and the return back to the world of 1.0, where the story will finally conclude. Many theorists speculate (based on recent PV content) that we will either be traveling back in time, or somehow revisiting and “redoing” the initial events of the Rebuild.

It’s crazy to think that Eva could have this element of time travel, but it’s not implausible. If anything, this will only cement the original message of the Rebuilds: That Evangelion is a story of repetition, one in which the characters fight over and over again until the can make things right. It’s a romantic sentiment, and I hope the final film commits to this noble purpose pitted by the equally optimistic (if slightly dreary) End of Evangelion.

If the 1.0 segment of the film does in fact shoot for this round table conclusion, then the first 3.0 half will feature high-octane action sequences and earth-shattering reveals about the events which took place between 2.0 and 3.0. Why does Wille and Misato hate Shinji if they are the ones who initially cheered him on to cause Second Impact? What happened to Kaji? And who the heck is Mari??

With the latest 12-minute premiere, we can now confirm that the Until You Come To Me short film is 100% canon—this is a huge step toward some answers. The third film raised a lot of questions about where the story is going, while the first film made fans curious as to why their beloved world of Tokyo-3 was different from the start of the Rebuild. Resolutely, 3.0+1.0 will aim to answer all of our burning questions. Or so, we hope.

Lastly, and if this wasn’t obvious from the start, but I believe Shinji will finally find happiness in himself—not just satisfaction with the idea of eventually being happy, but truly, confidently experiencing this joy for the first time. And that’s how the film will end—with the efforts to revisit the past (or the start another iteration), and the heroics of Shinji as he decides to pilot the robot from the start. The hero defeats all of the Angels, including the final Angel, Tabris (or Kaworu-kun), and the curtain closes on his smiling face.

From the start, this Rebuild story was never really about the other characters, just Shinji. As much as this saddens me, we’ve known this. Anno has told us this in several interviews. It’s Shinji Ikari’s story.

And tomorrow, it ends!

Congratulations Shinji—You are going to be fine! Keep fighting, and win happiness for yourself! We are all rooting for you!


I do hope very sincerely that we somehow get a legal streaming of the film before everyone in Japan spoils the film’s story for us! Some speculate that Amazon may be streaming it, at least Amazon Japan, but we’ll see what happens. And hopefully a physical release will come sooner rather than later—if Funimation doesn’t get to release it for us, my heart might just break!

What are your thoughts on 3.0+1.0? This will be the third time that Hideaki Anno paints an ending for Evangelion, and despite the controversies, I’ve enjoyed every single interpretation. The franchise has give me so much personal hope and fascination over its world, characters, and story. The fact that it’s finally coming to an end is scary and satisfying at the same time. Anyway, share your thoughts below, and let’s enjoy a conversation over some coffee. Thanks for reading, and ‘til next time!

Bye bye, all of Evangelion!

– Takuto

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

Hello cafe-goers, welcome to cafe talk, a segment where I ramble and you are more than welcome to ramble with me! Today’s post is the last one (for some of you thinking, thank goodness he’s done) concerning my recent EVA-Week, a celebration centering around the official English release of Evangelion 3.33. I hope you have enjoyed what has come out, and I ask you to join me on this last little voyage to Tokyo-3 for the foreseeable future . . . maybe . . . ?

TheRevisit calender (2)

Here is the calendar on my board. I’ve been filling in the days with their respective colors as they pass.

This goes more along with my 3.33 review which was recently posted. I thought dividing this into two parts would tremendously help cut down on the word count (it is so far the largest post on this blog)! This comprehensive aftermath will also explain the mindset I currently have with both Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild, so SPOILERS EXIST FOR ALL OF THE EVANGELION FRANCHISE.

Three groups of people exist when it comes to the franchise, and here are my thoughts on them:

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own series of 4 stand-alone films.

Stand-alone meaning that I could watch 1.11, not look back, and be satisfied with what I got; the film should be able to support itself without additional knowledge like most movies. I’ll admit, this method works fairly well for 1.11 and I dare say 2.22 if you decide to overlook the last ten or so minutes. With 3.33, this all falls apart – and NOT because of the 14-year gap. I was honestly thrilled when Anno decided to take such a ballsy risk, and it would’ve worked if

A) the events between the gap were explained by the end (Shinji’s confusion is decently handled, so putting it at the beginning would be all for not);

and B) The mental states of each character, not just Shinji, were further delved into. This viewpoint, I believe, is defunct due to the lack of both of these. Sadly, 3.33 just doesn’t stand by itself no matter how you look at it (my review will further explain why).

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as its own singular story, requiring knowledge of all 4 films.

This interpretation kinda piggy-backs off of the first, but in more of a coherent fashion. It is comparable more to a series, in that imagine if you watched the films back-to-back in one long slew (taking out credits, disc switches, etc.). This helps support the idea that the third leg of a four-person race is most tiring, complex, and occasionally (if you already assume how it’ll end), most climactic. I swam the 100-yd free, which is down-back-down-back. Without a doubt, that second down is the hardest part, as you have to manufacture your own adrenaline rush. For ROE, this means that 3.33 decides to take a more emotional approach and build up to the “beginning of the end,” much like a typical plot diagram. Still, this method lacks explanations for the unreasonable character motives and those deep psychological treats we savored in NGE. This viewpoint will be defunct should the last film present itself similarly to 3.33 or add nothing “new” like 3.33 did (I say “new” lightly, as causing the Fourth Impact isn’t something to just shrug off).

HEAVY THEORY/POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR THE FUTURE AHEAD, TREAD CAREFULLY

  1. Those who interpret the Rebuild as a rehashing of the original series, and believe elements between the two stories are interchangeable or that the Rebuild continues the story . . . somehow.

This is the wacky one. 1.11 is basically an exact copy of the first six episodes of NGE, only introducing Lilith earlier, showing off the red sea and the corpse outline on the hill, and sliding down the Angel appearance count by one – That’s it. It’s a wonderful remake of the original and deserves more appreciation. 2.22 is the break, the deviation. We get Asuka, but less Asuka (her name is even changed, WTF). Rei is kickin’ out hormones like crazy. Misato fails to tell her own story. Ritsuko is sidelined. Mari has little purpose other than to contrast against the others and be different. It’s a high-quality film, just a little lacking in the character department (nothing that the remaining two films can’t fix, right?). Then 3.33 comes along and breaks the flow. This is Anno’s different route, and unless that theory about the Rebuild being a successor to The End of Evangelion is trueThat it might all be a “dream,” another world route, or a chance to redo the past – then this is what we get. This viewpoint FORGIVES EVERYTHING that the Rebuild has caused thus far, as we fans can just plug n’ chug the backstories and memories, but should this fantastical theory prove false then this viewpoint is defunct as well. It is a well-constructed theory with much evidence, though. Then again, there’s the keyword. Theory.

I have much concern for this series, this franchise, at this point in time. Making 4.44, 3.0+1.0, Shin Evangelion Theatrical Edition 😐| – WHATEVER you want to call it – a masterful conclusion to the Rebuild series like The End of Evangelion was so many years ago is nearly impossible (unless something like option 3 happens, but it sounds all too easy). Its lack of characters which thought for themselves and had psychological issues that were conquered by individual experience and self-evaluation doesn’t even feel like the same Evangelion. And god dammit, SHOCK VALUE that receives no logical explanation is a SIN. Should the last film fail, ROE will be remembered as a series loaded with Grade A+ animation and soundtrack, a high-powered story full of twists and turns, and an emotional ride for some that found their calling with it. But hardly will you hear them say, “That doctor chick with the blond hair was an excellent character full of dynamic and emotional struggle,” because kid, the Rebuild‘s Ritsuko Akagi is not such a powerful woman.

Evaweekcelebration

Here is EVERYTHING referenced throughout The Revisit of Evangelion, or EVA-Week. It is mainly here as a compilation for me to look back on and remember all the fun times we had. You’re more than welcome to browse the menu and comment/reminisce with me 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day: You Are (Not) Alone

Neon Genesis Evangelion Review

The End of Evangelion Review

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. Review

Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance. Review

The Revisit of Evangelion: We Have Begun Third Impact | Cafe Talk

Evangelion’s Rebirth isn’t so Sweet after this Disposable Death | Review

THIS IS WHY WE CAN (NOT) REDO | Comprehensive Review

ATTENTION: 2 More Treats EVA Fans Might Have Missed!

The End of EVA-Week: Voicing CONCERN for the Rebuild | Cafe Talk

This concludes the EVA-Week celebration here at the cafe . . I’m starting to get emotional now, trying to hold back the tears! If you stuck around to read, like, or even comment with your own meaningful thoughts once, I thank you! This series means a lot to me, to many of us, and we just want to see it do well – So damn well we cry our eyes out and meld into the proverbial sea of life. Do you have any similar thoughts on the subject, or are you completely indifferent and just watch it for the giant robots? How do you prefer to interpret the Rebuild? Any other interpretations?? Let me know so we can party hard in the comments! Thanks for celebrating this joy with me, and may the inevitable conclusion of a lifetime rock our world!~

– Takuto, your host

I’m gonna be humming “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis,” “Beautiful World,” and “Canon in D” for the next several weeks, aren’t I. . .

ATTENTION: 2 More Treats EVA Fans Might Have Missed!

Hello Evangelion fanboys and fangirls, it would appear that EVA-Week is nearing its inevitable end. But don’t worry, if you’re not already sick of me going on and on about this series, here are two treats to the franchise you might have glossed by. After all, they are only a few minutes apiece.

Gosh, I’m starting to sound like a teacher emailing his students the latest assignments . . . I thank Wikipedia pages for helping me with this one!

Evangelion: Another Impact (CONFIDENTIAL)

This was an anime short project from Studio Khara and the media company Dwango. It was, like everything else, directed by Hideaki Anno, but produced by Joseph Chou and Tomohiko Ishii. Released on February 6, 2015, the website of the project describes the plot as follows:

“Another time, another place. An activation test of a decisive weapon was underway. With its development and operational trials shrouded in complete secrecy, the Another Number – Unit Null, suddenly breaks free of human control and goes berserk. For what purpose was Another Number – Unit Null created?

The story of an Evangelion’s activation, rampage and howling in another world.”

Supposedly it’s cannon, but I don’t think that was the intent. The project was meant to see what Evangelion looked like in realistic CG animation, and you know what? IT LOOKS HELLA COOL!! You don’t even have to be a fan of the series to enjoy this EPICNESS! Just enjoy the little clip:

This is the full thing, HD quality, though there is a voiceover in another language.

For those English buds who need the translation, here it is with subs, though in lower quality.

 

Evangelion: until You come to me.

Now this one was specifically directed by Anno and released with more serious intent and style. It was an entry in the 2014 Animator Expo, and is designed as a sort of prelude/possible 3.0+1.0 hype/just-for-art for the Rebuild series, specifically set after 3.33 as it had “emotionally drained him.” The background song is Shiro Sagisu’s rendition of the popular Irish tune, “Danny Boy.”

You’ll have to click on this link to watch it:

https://vk.com/video1785371_170606473?list=07610468a6ce66812c

Don’t get parts of it? All of it? Here is an excellent analysis which I encourage ALL EVA fans to watch REGARDLESS of having seen the original, as YouTuber GoatJesus does a wonderful job picking apart this piece of art and appreciating it for the sadness, beauty, and hope it inspires.

 

Had you seen either of these Evangelion shorts, or were you living under a rock like I was? I do hope you enjoy something out of this, whether it was the high-energy Another Impact or the more delicate, melancholic, emotionally-touching until You come to me. Both are more Evangelion, and both do it pretty damn well, providing not only new material but different medias the franchise can be viewed through. If you’d like to chat about any of it, drop me a comment below! Until the next and final EVA-Week post, this has been

– Takuto, your host

Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone. Review

Hideaki Anno had already captured the minds of millions when his most popular series Neon Genesis Evangelion was produced way back in 1995-1996. In 2007, he started the Rebuild of Evangelion, a series of movies that would reaffirm and branch off of the original series, hence, a rebuild. Today I’ll look at his first film, 1.0 (later to be released as a special edition, 1.11), and see if it meets his grand intent of pleasing fans and drawing in a wider audience with better visuals, music, and hopefully, an improved story.

2015. Tokyo-3 is the only remaining city in Japan after the Second Impact devastates the world. The lone city is not at peace, however, as gigantically scary extraterrestrial life forms known as Angels seek to exterminate the human race. As young boy who has not seen his father for over eight years, Shinji Ikari is called to NERV, an organization assembled to take down the Angels, where he will be piloting Evangelion Unit 01. Ikari’s father, the head of NERV, demands Shinji’s combat against the Angels; choose to not fight, and the already-injured and mysterious pilot 00 Rei Ayanami will be forced to. Getting himself into much more trouble than a robot fight, Evangelion 1.11 features the first three Angel clashes in remastered HD quality.

As far as changes go, this movie is almost an exact adaptation of the first eight or so episodes from the original series. As such you can check out my Neon Genesis Evangelion review here for a more in-depth review. The movie does a great job at recapping the old material, but of course, it drops quite a few scenes for time’s sake. Veterans of Evangelion might be disappointed with this, despite the new, incredibly detailing scenes that were added, but to newcomers it gets straight to the point.

The characters are also the exact same, with the exception of Shinji Ikari receiving less annoying dialogue. He just seems like a troubled 10 year-old instead of some rude brat when he refuses to fight at times.

For pacing, the show is rather rugged. It’s almost always on the edge of its seat, seeming like a string of intensity instead of a smooth-running film.

Another reason fans were let down was because it just didn’t feel like Eva. Everything is clear-cut and dialogue is cleaned up, making for fewer interpretive scenes and lessening the overall enigmatic effect. For unfamiliar people, this is a good thing, but for those who had seen the original, it doesn’t maintain the shady and “distorted” Evangelion quality.

I was pleased to hear that all of the main characters and some of the side were portrayed by the same English and Japanese voice actors. Props to FUNimation for the great dubbing!

The music is top-notch, though most of the tracks are just pulled from NGE. Model examples include “Decisive Battle” and “Angel Attack,” two of the main battle themes of the show. The ending, “Beautiful World” by Utada Hikaru, is simply a beautiful song, no joke. It was a cool way to end the film. I listen to it off and on as one of my alarms – it’s a great way to start the day!

Studio Khara revives the original series with amazingballz visuals! CG for the Angels, specifically the complete makeover of the 6th Angel (blue diamond one), is brilliantly done. Architecture is clean, for when Tokyo-3 goes into Angel alert, the sunrise combined with the colossal rising and falling buildings is a splendor. And of course, the Eva Units’ new computer graphics are glorious!

For a 2007 film, it easily rivals and surpasses most of the animated films of today. Fans will be pleased, as I was for sure. However, since it only encompasses the first quarter of the show, this will raise more questions than answers for newcomers to the franchise. Though it lacks footage and original atmosphere, Evangelion: 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone manages to be a great reaffirmation of the old anime, and masterful edition to the Evangelion series.

I hoped you enjoyed my quick few thoughts over the Rebuild of Evangelion’s first film! Drop a comment below if you had similar or different thoughts, because I love reading them ~ Until next time, this has been

– Takuto, your host